China’s biggest nightmare is suddenly coming true, as the world has decided to hold the paper dragon accountable for its almost seven-decades old occupation of Tibet. First, it was just India which was poking Beijing in the eye for occupying Tibet. Then, the Trump administration in the USA started raking up Tibet. And now, some of the most reluctant countries including EU members have also started speaking up about Tibet.
In fact, Germany, which seemed like Beijing’s friend not very long ago, has led 39 countries including the US, the UK and Japan to issue a statement rebuking human rights violations by Chinese authorities in Tibet and Xinjiang. The statement also expressed concern about the current political situation in Hong Kong.
Today, 39 countries including Australia delivered a stinging rebuke of the Chinese government’s brutal treatment of Uyghurs, the people of Hong Kong & Tibet, & many ordinary Chinese struggling to have their human rights respected. https://t.co/dpJKTD2ZkT
— Elaine Pearson (@PearsonElaine) October 6, 2020
Germany’s UN ambassador Christoph Heusgen led the initiative against China during a meeting on human rights at the United Nations on Tuesday. Heusgen said, “We call on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet.”
Till now, only India and the US were criticising Chinese government’s human rights violations in Tibet. But this time around even EU countries like Italy, France, Estonia, Lithuania and Luxembourg, have come out issuing a stinging statement against China over Tibet. In fact, most of the countries signing the Germany-led declaration were European Union Member-Nations, apart from others like Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The Germany-led Declaration on Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong puts Beijing in a very tight spot. It is a statement of intent showing the world is ready to train guns at the paper dragon over its illegal occupation of Tibet, which would become the tenth largest country of the world once it gains independence.
In fact, China has already suffered a massive meltdown over the latest statement slamming China over human rights violations. China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun said that the Declaration is aimed at “provoking confrontation” among UN Member-States.
Jun added, “They spread false information and political virus, smeared China, and interfered in China’s internal affairs. China firmly opposes and rejects that.”
China’s epic meltdown exposes how Beijing has understood that Tibet is the weak link that its enemies and adversaries around the world would look to exploit in the near future. There are ominous signs of China facing a global assault over its illegal occupation of the ancient Buddhist Kingdom of Tibet since 1951 when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had invaded it.
Tibet actually makes China very vulnerable. Not only China risks losing the ancient Buddhist Kingdom, but the world can also get to blackmail the paper dragon by weaponizing the Tibet issue.
Take Germany itself for example. Till now, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on good terms with Beijing, but of late she is starting to have issues with Beijing. Nearing retirement, Merkel doesn’t want to go down in history as a weak leader, and therefore she is now standing up to China. And the easiest way she found to slam China was to rake up human rights violations in Tibet.
Merkel, being the de facto EU leader, has been involved in hardball negotiations with the paper dragon over the issue of access to Chinese markets for European businesses. Recently, she said, “If there is no market access from the Chinese side for certain areas, this will of course also be reflected in the fact that market access to the European market will be narrower.”
China has been hesitant in adopting free market practices, much to EU’s chagrin. But now the EU and Merkel get to raise the Tibet issue and bend China’s will. Making a big deal out of Chinese government’s human rights violations in Tibet gives greater bargaining power to Merkel.
Losing Tibet is China’s biggest fear, and China’s enemies therefore get a stick to beat China with. The paper Dragon is thus set to land in a very bad position, as the Tibetan cause seems to be finally resonating beyond New Delhi and Washington.